The Nonprofit Board Fellowship matches Wharton MBA and Penn Law JD students with Philadelphia’s nonprofit organizations.
The NBF provides a unique opportunity for Philadelphia-area nonprofit boards to connect with the University of Pennsylvania, and for students enrolled in select graduate programs at Penn to get involved in the Philadelphia community.
Through two distinct fellowship offerings, the program matches fellows to the boards of nonprofits in the greater Philadelphia area for one year where they serve in the role of “apprentice board member.”
Students with no prior nonprofit board experience can apply to become a Nonprofit Board Fellow. Nonprofit Board Fellows gain valuable board experience while supporting the mission of a partner organization. Fellows simultaneously participate in on-campus trainings and meetings aimed at supporting their development in the apprentice board member role.
Students with prior experience with nonprofit boards can apply to lead the program by joining as an Executive Committee Fellow. Executive Committee Fellows are trained as peer coaches and facilitators to guide a group of board fellows through their visiting board service experience and lead the development of community and group culture.
Our mission is to advance the development of MBA and JD students who want — and have the potential — to be future civic leaders.
Through a competitive application process, we select students who best exemplify dedication to service, passion for mission, humility, interest in peer-led learning, and commitment to personal leadership development.
- Placement: we place over 40 fellows to serve as visiting, non-voting board members on an equal number of nonprofit boards in Philadelphia;
- Training: board fellows engage with a 14-month nonprofit board service training curriculum focused on the nonprofit sector, board governance, and leadership development;
- Shared learning: as a community of like-minded individuals, the fellows participate in frequent and ongoing opportunities to reflect on their experience and share learning.
November 27th – December 13th: Application is open
January – February: Interviews
February – March: Decisions and Fellow matching
Spring (ongoing): Full-day Spring Training + 4 Evening Trainings + Transition Dinner + Brunch
September: Welcome Back Event
Fall (ongoing): Pods, All Fellows Meetings, Mission Lunches, Subcommittee Meetings, Live Case Dinners, Board Meetings
October: Fall Training
November: Pod Dinners
Spring: Closing Training + Transition Dinner